Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Attorney General Jim Hood face each other in the Nov. 5 general election for governor.

Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood, expected to be engaged in a contentious governor’s race in the coming months, agree on at least one item – debates.

“I am ready anytime and anywhere,” said Hood when asked about the likelihood of debates before the Nov. 5 general election.

“Bring it on,” said Parker Briden, a spokesperson for Reeves. “Tate is looking forward to debating Jim Hood on his liberal policy ideas. He’s gone out on several limbs to shill for liberal positions on taxes, government health care, and more. Voters will get a chance to hear about them many times over the next two months.”

Before Reeves won last Tuesday’s primary runoff against former Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., Hood said he hopes to have at least three debates with the Republican nominee. He said he believes there should be debates not only in the Jackson area, but also in the northern and southern regions of the state.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves prevails in GOP runoff, will face Democrat Jim Hood in November

Reeves participated in one debate before the Aug. 6 primary with Waller and state Rep. Robert Foster of DeSoto County. Waller and Foster engaged in additional debates that Reeves did not attend.

Between the Republican primary and the runoff, which was needed because no candidate garnered a majority vote, Reeves and Waller had one, 30 minute debate.

Hood said he hopes the debates between he and Reeves are long enough to allow candidates to address complex issues.

He added, “I want a panel of journalists there that has the facts and immediately fact checks” the candidates, said Hood. He then cited statistics indicating Mississippi is growing much slower than the nation and surrounding states to dispute Reeves’  claim that the state economy is growing the fastest  ever.

Hood said journalists also should “call my hand” if he is not accurate.

Referencing the fact Waller is a former judge, Hood points out his background is a prosecutor and that he wants to prosecute the case against Reeves.

Hood did not debate his seven opponents before the Aug. 6 Democratic primary. While Reeves had a tough primary election that resulted in a runoff, Hood won on Aug. 6 with 69 percent of the vote.

Reeves and Hood are competing to replace Republican Gov. Phil Bryant, who cannot seek re-election because of term limits.

Hood is vying to be the state’s first Democratic governor since 1999 when then-Lt. Gov. Ronnie Musgrove was elected.

Hood, a Chickasaw County resident, has served four terms as attorney general. Reeves, a Rankin County resident, has served two terms as treasurer and two as lieutenant governor.


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Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.